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The morning round started off in calm but rather damp conditions, with intermittent rain providing a challenge to the boys as they mounted their assault on qualification. Teeing off simultaneously from the 1st and 10th tees were the reliable and flamboyant duo of Marco Penge and Nathan Longley. Of the two, it was Nathan on this occasion that provided the greater amount of flair, and after reaching the dizzy heights of -3 during his round; he carded an exceptional -1, which was tied for the lowest score of the morning. Marco on the other hand struggled to get into the game, and before he knew it he had carded a frustrating 82, needless to say he didn’t require further motivation for the afternoon round! Impressive scores then began to flood in with Laird Shepherd 73, with Charlie Hilton and George Goddard carding 71’s. Our hopes of securing a commanding position at the top of the leader board then rested firmly on the merits of Leonardo Ruggieri, who like Marco, struggled to get into his round and carded a disappointing 83. This meant that although one score could be dropped, we still had an 82 to count towards our total, which resulted in us being three shots off of the lead after round 1.

Morning scores: Par 70 CSS 72

 Nathan Longley – 69

Charlie Hilton – 71

George Goddard – 71

Laird Shepherd – 73

Marco Penge – 82

Leonardo Ruggieri – 83

Team total: 366

1st Place total: 363

The sun managed to break through in the afternoon, which brightened up the mood of Marco, as did the start to his round where he raced to -3 through 6 holes. Unfortunately whilst this was happening, Nathan’s fortunes took a turn for the worse with two triple bogeys followed by a double, which made the rest of his afternoon a real slog. Nathan finished with an 80 to his credit, and Marco a full 13 shots better than his morning round finishing with a 69. Laird and George both battled well, but leaked a few shots here and there, without holing enough putts to break or maintain par this time round with scores in the mid 70’s. This left things down to the less experienced members of the team, and after his pep talk from head coach Ryan, Leonardo produced a mature performance with a 73 to redeem himself after the morning, finishing birdie, birdie, par down the toughest stretch of holes of the day. Things started to look a little close on the leader board back in the clubhouse, and with text messages flying in from an anxious County Captain away on his holidays; the atmosphere became very tense indeed. With the success of the team seemingly resting upon the young but very wise shoulders of Charlie, we waited with baited breath to discover whether the efforts of the boys would prove fruitful. Charlie carded a very respectable 75, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to get to the top of the leader board and we finished in second place behind Hampshire.

 Afternoon scores: Par 70 CSS 72

 Marco Penge – 69

Leonardo Ruggieri – 73

Laird Shepherd – 74

Charlie Hilton – 75

George Goddard – 76

Nathan Longley – 80


Team total: 733

1st place total: 727

Report by:  

Laurence Collier
PGA Professional
Junior Boys Manager - Sussex Golf Union


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